In 2003, a now-famous book, What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy was first published by a linguistics researcher named James Paul Gee. In this book, Gee argued that good video games utilize good principles of learning - principles that can and should be applied in other learning settings such as school. In identifying these principles, Gee began to link game-based learning with content learning in schools.
At the time, this was a pretty interesting and slightly absurd idea. Although the notion of game-based learning was not new, it was unusual to look to video games as models for excellence in teaching. Most classrooms had not yet embraced game-based learning, and in fact many schools took great pains to ensure that children could not play games, digital and otherwise, during the school day.